University of Saskachewan

David C. Natcher

Teaching Philosophy

In a time when the interface between culture, economy, and the sustainability of the natural environment is in need of critical analysis, the training of students has never been more necessary if we are to arrive at long-term solutions to socio-environmental concerns. However, in order to accomplish this task academic departments must be willing to span disciplinary boundaries. This interdisciplinary approach to education is based upon the realization that complex natural resource and environmental issues, critical to human life and the natural world that supports us, are societal problems in which no single perspective or discipline can provide adequate solutions. Thus it remains critical that academic departments bring together trained scholars in the crucial task of integrating social, cultural, economic and ecological fields. Such an endeavour, however, requires a flexible, process-driven approach to education that emphasizes experimentation and a long-term commitment to building skills and competencies that reflect sensitivity to cultural, political and ecological contexts. If this can be accomplished an environment can be created where students gain the ability to learn, adapt and think creatively in the face of change and increasing environmental complexity. Such training also provides students with the necessary skills to begin the reconciliation of ecological realities with the socio-economic needs and wants of future generations. 

Current Courses Being Taught

RRM 312 - Aboriginal Peoples and Natural Resource Management

This course explores the concepts, practices and issues associated with the management of land and resources by Canada's Aboriginal peoples. By examining the premises underlying varying approaches to resource management, this course examines Aboriginal rights and management responsibility for fisheries, water resources, wildlife, forestry, parks and protected areas, and non-renewable resources. This course also examines the role of traditional local ecological knowledge in resource management and impact assessment. This course will be of interest to those students who want to gain a more critical understanding of how different social, cultural and political perspectives influence the allocation, use and management of natural resources.